250 years of free speech: highlighted with film on silence

250 years ago today, Sweden introduced the Freedom of the Press Act, the first legislation of its kind in the world.

However, as we highlight this important landmark, the fundamental rights and freedoms the Act sets out to defend are increasingly under threat around the world.
The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has therefore produced a short film, #FreetheSpeech, on the silence that would appear in a world without free speech.

The film is an integral part of the campaign #FreeSpeechGreaterIdeas #DefendingFreeSpeech being run by the Ministry together with Swedish embassies. Throughout the year, events have been hosted by embassies in collaboration with different organisations to increase awareness about the benefits of freedom of expression and transparency.

On 2 December, the Ministry is organising a seminar for and with female journalists on hate speech and threats against women journalists. Ten prominent journalists have been invited to share their stories about their experiences and working conditions. Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström will attend the event and make a statement. The seminar, which is being co-hosted together with media institute FOJO and UNESCO, will be broadcast live from 13.30 CET on http://www.government.se/government-of-sweden/ministry-for-foreign-affairs/

The campaign culminates on 2 December, but the promotion of free speech will continue as an integral part of the Ministry's work in 2017 and beyond.


Freedom of expression and transparency were guaranteed in Sweden 250 years ago when the Swedish Riksdag passed the Freedom of the Press Act. This was the first legislation of its kind anywhere in the world. Freedom of expression and transparency are fundamental not only to democracy, but also to innovation and combating corruption.

The world becomes awfully quiet without free speech.



Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Visiting address Gustav Adolfs torg 1, Stockholm
email to Ministry for Foreign Affairs, via senior registry clerk